The International Rugby Board “couldn’t market a piss up in a brewery” and needs to be overhauled following the Rugby World Cup, former Springbok coach Nick Mallet said.
Mallet said the administration of the IRB was fundamentally flawed and it’s leaders were out of touch.
IRB chief executive Mike Miller’s comments that the All Blacks were replaceable following the NZRU’s threat to pull them from the 2015 World Cup were a case in point, he said.
“I mean someone so out of touch with rugby as it is, could make a comment like that, he has no appreciation.”
He said the attempted censure of Samoan tweeter Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and the $10,000 fines against the Tuilagi brothers for wearing branded mouthguards were “crazy”.
Fresh leadership from outside the Old Boys’ Club of rugby administration was needed, he said.
Mallet, who coached the Italian team at this year’s Rugby World Cup, was speaking at an Ernst & Young World Cup lunch yesterday.
His Italian team defeated France 22-21 in Rome in March, and Mallet has spent a number of years coaching French teams, including Stade Francais.
He said the mindset of the French rugby player rendered Les Bleus previous 37-17 defeat to the All Blacks in pool play irrelevant.
“They didn’t really care. They knew they were going to finish second, they had no problem with that.
“It’s not about the jersey as much for them. It’s about emotion, and what they’ve got inside them, what they really badly feel at that moment.”
Mallet said he thought the All Blacks would win, but the game would be decided by only around 10 points.
When the French played Australia in the 1999 final they used dirty play in an attempt to unsettle the Wallabies, he said.
“But that was right at the end of the amateur era…I think they realise now that you just going to get a yellow or red car.”
He was confident the French team would rise to the occasion: “They do love theatre. And this is the greatest theatre of all”.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, former All Black coach Laurie Mains has admitted to being alarmed by the inferior standard of refereeing at the Rugby World Cup.
“I’ve been appalled by the refereeing, especially how they have decided games with scrum penalties,” Mains said.
Mains said that it had gotten to a state where guesswork could influence decisions.
“Games have been won and lost from scrum penalties when the wrong decision was made. You should not have a situation in rugby where games are won and lost by the referee’s guess,” he said.
Mains said the thing that concerned him most were the grey area that the scrum had become, the inconsistency in the rulings and unnecessary penalties.
“A lot of times when penalties were awarded, I couldn’t tell who was at fault. There was no way that the referee knew. It should have been a reset scrum.”
Mains, the last coach to take New Zealand to a World Cup final in 1995, was confident, though that New Zealand would beat France in the final, and gave Jerome Kaino his vote of confidence for player of the tournament.
Mains took a pot-shot at fellow New Zealander Bryce Lawrence when he admitted that he would have preferred a final with Wales or South Africa, teams he thought were taken out of the tournament by bad refereeing decisions.
“I would have felt a lot better about winning the World Cup if Wales or South Africa had been the other team in the final,” Mains said.
“They would have been worthy opponents for the All Blacks.”